This week’s Writer’s Wednesday is brought to you by: the Brainfood Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing Workshop. The participants were asked to come up with one story concept each for fantasy and science fiction.
Baiting the Muse (Links):
We covered (traditional) fantasy pretty well last week, so let’s cover some recent news and developments in science that lend themselves to speculation:
- Mass Production of Artificial Skin Within Two Years? (Accelerating Future)
- Microbes as Computers (Discovery Magazine)
- The First (Mainly) Vegetarian Spider (Science Blog)
- 50 Trippy Years of Space Trips (Bad Astronomy)
- A Penny-sized Nuclear Battery (80 Beats)
- A new crystal can act as a Valve for Light (New Scientist)
- The big question: Who Owns Your Genetic Data? (Fast Company)
- Or is this the big question: Will there be Sex After the Singularity? (H+ Magazine)
Aaand… let’s end there, because I know of no way to top that ^_^
Consulting the Muse (Tips):
Here are some links to articles/posts/interviews that try to answer that hoary old question: Where do you get your ideas?
- Neil Gaiman takes on the dreaded question; so do Charlie Stross and John Rosenman
- Juliette Wade on “Getting Story Ideas“
- Gratz Industries on “Where do you get those ideas“
- The Story Faucet has some resources that might help you capture those elusive ideas
- The Electric Dragon Cafe has some quotes on the matter from Rowling, King, Koontz and Card
- Lois McMaster Bujold (one of my favorite authors) on where she got the idea for “The Sharing Knife”
- Of course once you come up with an idea, you need to be sure you remember it, so here’s Jeremiah Tolbert on “Keeping an Ideas File“
Personal Reflection: I’ve found that generating ideas is the easy part. Which is good news. The bad news is: a good idea does not = a good story. Far from it. I think that writers might want to spend less time coming up with that 100% unique idea, and more time finding a theme that they feel is important enough that they can see themselves constructing a story around it. Your story has to matter to you before it matters to anyone else.
Testing the Muse (Prompts):
Make a list of themes, of causes and subjects, that matter to you, about which you feel you have something to say. Don’t just think about novel concepts–think about what will lie at the heart of your story, what makes you care about it, what makes you believe it is worth writing.
While we’re always keen to post helpful links for writers here at Rocket Kapre, we thought we’d devote the Wednesday of each week to a more concentrated form of writing goodness.
WW is an experiment and work-in-progress so please let us know what works for you and what doesn’t in the comments ^_^.